Last week, Supply and Demand Chain Executive unveiled its 2019 list of Procurement Pros to Know. In what has become an annual tradition for Source One, several members of its spend management team earned spots on the list.

Senior Analyst Samantha Hoy is one of them. Recognized for her cross-category expertise and tireless dedication to client service, she is honored alongside the Procurement space's most forward-thinking consultants and practitioners.

She recently sat down with the Strategic Sourceror to discuss key milestones in her career and her vision for the future of Procurement and Supply Chain Management. The conversation centers on the theme for this year's ISM conference: 'Spark.'


Strategic Sourceror: What first sparked your interest in Supply Management?

Samantha Hoy: I have always been intrigued by multi-faceted nature of the business. It combines so many ideas like enhancing efficiency, introducing process improvements, producing savings, and leveraging those savings elsewhere. Additionally, I have always had a “minimal effort, maximum return” mindset. When I had the opportunity to explore different business functions in college, I confirmed my interest in pursuing a degree and career in Supply Chain Management.

I quickly grew interested in not only pursuing Supply Chain Management, but focusing on the consulting side of the field. I thought this would provide the opportunity to expand my knowledge into a variety of industries and verticals, and allow me to be able to work alongside companies with differing needs.

SS: Could you describe an early win - something that turned that spark into a flame?

SH: As a business major in college, my classmates and I were required to successfully complete an introductory level course in each major business function, and Supply Chain Management was the class that I became most interested in. I am by no means a “math person,” but in my SCM course, I learned to work with numbers, understand the logic behind them, and reach the desired outcome. For the first time in my personal educational history, I felt as though I could actually be successful around math problems.

It sounds silly, but sometimes it’s the little things that inspire bigger and better things. As I mentioned, I have always shown an interest in process efficiency and helping people save money/money management, so rather than getting involved in Finance or Accounting and dealing strictly deals with the hard numbers, I felt like Supply Chain Management was the best option for developing career goals.

SS: In your opinion, what qualities set a 'Pro to Know' apart?

SH: There are many qualities that a Pro to Know should develop to set themselves apart. The most important include: 
  • Making mistakes early and learning from them.
  • Thinking creatively to work smarter rather than working harder. 
  • Being flexible enough to operate in a number of business areas.
  • Acting decisively and confidently.
SS: How do you recommend emerging professionals build those skills, how can they spark the next stage in their career? 

SH: There are two crucial components when it comes to developing these imperative skills: exposure and lots of practice. Gaining exposure to similar projects in various industries will allow growing professionals to expand their current understanding of how to apply different strategies and procurement practices across different types of work.

The world of Supply Chain Management is one big puzzle for a business, you have to work with your team to figure out what options are available (puzzle pieces) and figure out how they go together in order to get the desired outcome (completed puzzle) in an efficient manner.

Supply Chain Management and specifically, Procurement, are very broad categories in their own. Gaining exposure to the many angles within each area is going to help professionals, young and even experienced, learn more about the details associated with the various possible work streams involved within several industries. Along with this exposure comes practice. 

Once professionals have a solid understanding of the plethora of options within these functions, gaining practice will boost their confidence and make it easier to progress in their career. If you think about it, working in this field is very similar to playing a sport or being an artist – practice improves the skills that we gain exposure to and enables us to reach greater heights within the field.

SS: What sparks your enthusiasm about the future of supply management? 

SH: I am most excited to see how professionals within this field build off of each other’s ideas and collaborate to develop more impactful strategies. Supply Chain Management is a field that involves many people and there are keeping things moving means attending to a number of moving parts. When teams collaborate (internally, externally, etc.), broader options can be brought to the table and overall company growth opportunities can be uncovered as a result of collaboration. 

I am very enthusiastic about the future of this field because more and more professionals have realized what collaboration can mean. They're increasingly open-minded and forward-thinking - it should make for an exciting future. 
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